Flower preservation lets you enjoy spring and summer blooms at any moment. Dried flowers can stay beautiful for many years when preserved properly. Use them to liven up flower arrangements, decorate crafts and cards, or show as framed artwork. Experiment with various methods and blossom types to find those that work best for you personally.
Pressed flower preservation functions best with flat blooms, like pansies (Viola spp.) . To press a blossom, sandwich it between 2 sheets of absorbent blotting paper. Put the blotting paper between 2 sheets of paper towels; subsequently place the whole package under a heavy weight, like under a stack of books along with a brick, for five to seven days. The weight presses the moisture from the flowers and into the newspaper. When the flowers are completely dry, you can show them. Pressing preserves most of the shade in the flowers, though it does flatten some blooms. Flower presses are also available that offer the pressure to remove the moisture.
Air drying permits you to preserve both blooms and stems. It works best for complete flowers, like hydrangeas, or for blooms that make clusters of blooms, like yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Strip foliage from the stems, since it usually won’t dry well, then tie a bundle of five or six stems together. Dry large flowers separately rather than in bunches. Hang the stems upside down in a dark, well-ventilated and dry location for one to two weeks, or until the stems and flowers are completely dry and fragile. Light bleaches the colour from the flowers during drying, while any moisture in the atmosphere can cause the blooms to rot.
You can dry almost any flower variety in a desiccant. Desiccant choices include silica gel crystals, equal parts borax and mud, or equal parts borax and cornmeal. Fill containers using a 1-inch layer of the desiccant mixture, and arrange the flowers on top. Insert more desiccant into the container before the blooms are buried. Most flowers require about a week to dry within a desiccant, even though some flowers may take more. You may check dryness by pouring off some of the desiccant to inspect the petals. When the blooms are papery and fragile, carefully pour off the desiccant and show the blooms.
Storage and Screen
Proper storage extends the life of preserved flowers. Store the blooms in a sealed container to keep out moisture and in a dark location so the blooms don’t fade. When you’re ready to show the flowers, you can spray them lightly with a preservative from a florist or using a clear spray paints. Screen vases of dried flowers or framed pressed flowers in a location away from direct sunlight. Avoid humid locations, like bathrooms, because the moisture will ruin the flowers.